Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fun shop trip!

Yeeps, but it's been a while since I've been able to do the fun shop thing.  Got a chance to spend a short bit of time in the Sportsman's Warehouse in Soldotna, with the family up in town for a geocaching picnic...and on the whole, what I saw was pretty encouraging.

First and foremost, there was .22 ammo.  Both the sales guys seemed to confirm that it wasn't just an illusion, but a real sense of palpable relief and recovery from The Extended Stoopid of the last too many freakin' years.  Prices haven't quite dropped to what they were before, but that could mostly be explained by inflation, and hell, it was there!  Bricks too, although packaging is just different than it used to be, when a brick was a brick was 500 rounds on the nose, in ten 50-round boxes.  Today, I saw packaging in 200, 300, 400, and 1400 round quantities, at rational if not entirely reasonable prices:  okay, I'll take it.

Primers were available too, by the thousand, and simply priced a little higher than I'd think appropriate.  Component bullets much more available, and ammo in general looked healthy all around.  There were even a few boxes of 16-gauge shotshells, although nothing in the buck and slug formats.

Okay, so recovery is arriving, in a location which is usually last to see the national trends.  Long may it ride.

In guns, I was happy to get a chance to meet my first .45 caliber S&W Shield.  Very nice piece;  precious little larger than the .40, and boasting a 6+1 capacity flush mag (to the XD-S's 5+1 flush mag) that was luxuriously comfortable in the hand.  Today, the trigger on the Shield was much superior to the trigger on the XD-S, but I've seen enough examples of each to know that either could come either way--so I should shop around, when the time comes.  

And boy, I do like both guns.  I seem to be warming to the Shield more and more with time, but I've not lost any fervor for the XD-S either.  In an ideal world I'd have copies of each, and would see which one would prove more likely to get the call in true daily use.  :-)

They had a CZ 527 as well, in 7.62x39;  still love everything about that rifle but the stinkin' backward safety.  (Ergonomics, people!)  Of interest, that 527 also comes chambered in 6.5 Grendel now, for those who like that format.  (Every ten years or so, I go through a mental exercise that explores the viability of nonstandard cartridges, such as the Grendel, or the .35 Whelen, etc.--and after a delightful bout of number crunching, every time I seem to (re-)conclude that yes, some of these rounds do seem to offer something over their standard-fare stablemates...but the advantage is so slight, and specialized, that overall it doesn't seem to be worth the effort unless one has money to burn and simply wants to do it because he can.  I can support that idea fully of course, but honestly, there is not a whole lot that a .35-caliber 250 at 2400 is going to do, that a .308-caliber 220 or 240 cannot.  Keep the '06, load up the heavies when called for, and otherwise rejoice in the extra choice and occasional surplus quantities of the standard round.)

Took another look at the .22 rimfire Ruger American rifle.   I'd forgotten that I liked this the first time I saw one, and here again today I was pretty impressed with it as a platform.  The safety in particular (tang) seems to be well designed, and I think it looks like a good entry for a quality .22 trainer.  Will cogitate on that one further.

Finally, in addition to the Shield, I wanted to re-acquaint myself with the M&P service pistol's ergonomics;  in that regard I got to see one of the "2.0" designs, and was impressed.  I am not a fan of double-stack designs, but they are pretty ubiquitous, and this one is one of the very most comfortable I have ever run across.    The 2.0 in particular also had the manual safety on it and man, it felt very, very natural, positive and comfortable.  So, I think that by now I can conclude that the M&P platform is going to be the right choice to go to, to build an across-the-board stable of guns to work with for all sorts of training.  By which I mean, it would be fantastic if I could use, in the same holster for the 9mm/40S&W sized pistol, all of the following:
  • Airsoft M&P model with blowback
  • BB M&P model with blowback
  • M&P .22 rimfire model
  • M&P 9mm or .40 model
Similarly, in an open-bottom holster rig designed for the .45-caliber M&P, I could envision:
  • Rifled pellet M&P45 airgun
  • .45ACP M&P45 pistol
  • .460 Rowland conversion on M&P45 pistol
I do wish the airgun and Airsoft world would get on board with more slim-line pistol options such as the ASG Bersa BP9CC--by which I mean S&W Shield or SA XD-S, of course--but for now the best option is to go with 1911s in full size and the Bersa in compact...we'll see.

And finally, I did note that they didn't have any Benjamin Discovery airguns any more--but there were a lot more Gamo-Eff-Pee-Ess options for the credulous.  What a shame!  That Discovery was, is, pure genius, and I still need to acquire a few to put ideas into play.

Anyway, wanted to record a few notes--a pleasant discovery that things seem to be looking better for the nonce.  Yes, more of that, please!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Please, stop. I need taller boots for this.

So by complete accident, I recently failed to avoid noticing this:

I try, you see, but sometimes it's just inevitable.


Sometimes I'm tempted to wonder if it is even theoretically possible for this crowd to be more sanctimoniously self-absorbed and haughtily tone-deaf than they already are.  But the very minute I consider even entertaining the thought, the Weaponize Arrogance Now! crowd comes through once again, like the finely honed machine that it is.

"Can Satire Save the Republic?"  Oh, you mean from the hive mind's metastasizing singularity of abdicated intelligence masquerading as wit and self-arrogated moral superiority over an undifferentiated mass of people they utterly and totally refuse to understand on any level beyond that of a toddler at meltdown?  Well, you know, as an art form, actual satire just might be able to accomplish that--if, you know, it were done well, and pointed at the right target.

And so here they are, this professionally smarter-than-thou crowd, as usual presuming that they've got it all figured out.  Just a little more ridicule and those stupid hicks and cousin-humping rednecks will surely see the light.  It's so self-evidently obvious!  And then we'll be able to avoid all this electoral ugliness next time.

I know I shouldn't let it get to me, but JFC, so many of these people are committed to their onanistic displays of wanton superiority and intrasquad virtue-signaling.  It's bad enough that we've been burdened with the Deep State in the first place, and then with this latest buffoon to figurehead it, without having also to deal with this worse buffoonery of the overeducated useful idiot whose understanding of utopian ideology and elevated sense of self-importance vastly outpaces his understanding of real people in meatspace.

Hell, they don't even understand that the Current Occupant is an intentional buffoon, and yet from what I can tell, they crow with stunningly pathetic pride at all their oh-so-very-clever takedowns of what may be the ultimate straw man.

And man, is it annoying when I then sound (to myself at least) like I'm somehow defending that smarmy buffoon, or his "supporters", or even "the Republic" itself.  I'm not, of course.  But this hive-mind gambit--to somehow manage to be worse than all that, with new levels of sanctimonious smuggery backed up by childishly facile tone-deafness in practice--is, at least arguably, working.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Slowly plugging away.

Things have somewhat self-evidently been on substantial hiatus here for a while now, and that will most likely continue for a while longer.  I do miss the act of writing, and between Teh Stoopid and all the gunnie ideas there is certainly still plenty to discuss, but in the spirit of living freedom wherever possible, in preference to pining and theorizing over it, I have been making judicious use of the, uh, "extra" time, and I think that's been healthy for me.  The kids are such a blast right now, and making ends meet has continued to be a challenge, but slowly we are figuring it out...

Some days it's easier than others, but I'm trying to play the right long game.

And so, in the spirit of that thought, here is something I simply must promote, at least in principle:  helium beer.

Totally pointless.  The very definition of Because-I-Can.  Possible side benefits of mucking with voice-recognition systems...

What's not to like?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Grigg is gone.

Sometimes, even God gets selfish.

If you'll forgive the crudity, this nevertheless sums it up just about perfectly:

The irony is that Grigg could have done it better without being crude.

There's a hole in the freedomverse today, and it's a big one.  I find it extremely telling that within just a few hours, I have seen more love for Will Grigg pass by my Facebook feed, than I have seen attention paid to any single person or event since I entered the TwitFace space just about ten years ago now.  It's difficult to explain how someone I never met in meatspace could become so important in my life, but anyone who spends any amount of time reading these pages will not fail to run across Grigg's name with some regularity.  I'd like to think that does not happen by accident.

I could go on and stumble for the words myself, but Dan Sanchez did a pretty fine job summing up the je ne sais quoi of Grigg's style, in an article for FEE today:

Each essay he wrote was a masterpiece of erudition and eloquence, precision and passion. He did not hurl invective. He simply described each official injustice exactly, stripped of all euphemism, as one would a crime committed by any “mundane” outside of the “punitive priesthood” and devoid of “blue privilege,” to use three of his many incisive coinages. He would illuminate the matter by drawing fascinating parallels from his expansive knowledge of history, literature, and popular culture: especially science fiction, which he loved. And he would slice to pieces the officious justifications of official victimizers with his razor-sharp reason. He was, bar none, the best writer in the liberty movement. And in his painstakingly produced podcast Freedom Zealot and his many interviews with Scott Horton, he seemed to craft final-draft prose as he spoke.

Yes, that.  All of that.  And for me, there is one other thing, too:  William Grigg was an actual living manifestation of something that is otherwise at least arguably an impossible enigma:  a true, literal Christian libertarian.  What I am usually used to is that the acceptance of God as the ultimate benign authoritarian, will ultimately and always trump the libertarian impulse at some point in the continuum;  but then somehow there was Constant Will, never budging from a libertarianism so beautifully radical it could easily be called the oh-so-naughty A-word...and yet somehow his devoutness was never in question--maybe it's because he always made it seem so personally, individually voluntary.  I found that inspiring and impressive, even alongside his more obvious stylistic brilliance.

He leaves behind a world that desperately needs him, but which seems even more desperate to ignore him.  "Those malignant bastards" do not deserve to breathe any easier for not having Will around any more, calling them out in his gloriously plain, honest language for what they are.

Somehow, in light of this terrible news, I am reminded of something I heard him say more than once:

This is a man.  Take notes.

He always said that about others--certainly worthy others--but based on everything I have learned about the man through his writing and social media presence, the sentiment is absolutely made for him.

Let me put it this way:  my own son will get the notes I have taken.

Rest in peace, Will, and thank you eternally for the attitude.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

This is the TwitFace in toto.

I suppose one could try to make the point better than this, but why?  It's all there.

And what a blissful silence it would be.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Just putting this benchmark out there. Eyes, ears.

All of a sudden, the TwitFace is starting to ramp up a noticeable number of those hive-sourced, meme-driven, professionally hoplophobic nuggets of just exactly the sort that seem to happen right before something big and stupid goes down somewhere in the American soyuz, becoming suspiciously convenient fodder for just whatever the victim-disarmament crowd has recently been working on pimping.  You know, that shit that always seems so uncanny when it happens, and never seems to happen at any other time?

Of course, maybe it's nothing:  these tiresome people are always digging away at human independence;  they are nothing if not committed to their war on everyone.

Still.  The level of tone-deaf stoopid right now is beyond breathtaking, and we know for a damn fact that recent administrations are not above working "under the radar" to manufacture whatever opinion that the peasant rabble refuse to accept on their own.

So:  eyes, ears.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Actually, George...

(As seen on the TwitFace.)

I’m sure you were great on TV and all (I confess I have never been a proper Trekkie), and I’ve no reason to doubt that you have also been a personal inspiration to more than a few perfectly decent people trapped in the closet by shameful and needless sexual bigotry. Even more importantly, you have done much to shine needed light on one of American history’s darkest moments, in openly talking about your own family’s internment in WWII. (As things happened for me, I learned about that horrible exercise in genocide enablement from others, but I will always respect you specifically for swimming against the shameful tide to willfully ignore or forget it.)

But seriously, George, your snowflake comment here pretty much writes its own rejoinders. 

Since you brought it up, then, here’s a few other “the thing”s about snowflakes:
  • Snowflakes evaporate (or sublimate) and vanish completely with the simple application of hot air. (That is: they are utterly dependent upon utopian environmental conditions.)
  • Snowflakes have no minds of their own; they simply drift and fall wherever the winds may blow them. (Note that it does not matter who may supply the wind.)
  • Snowflakes are also completely unlike any living thing, in that they have no individual defenses of their own. (Not only are they not organic—they’re inorganic!)
  • Snowflakes’ entire capacity for creativity and uniqueness is expended at the point of their creation. Yes, they are formed beautiful and unique, and truly the process of crystalline self-organization is remarkable—but once the process completes, the magic is gone; there is no life. (Nor the sentience for self-awareness, much less the sapience for self-direction.)
  • Snowflakes can be artificially manufactured by machine, or deliberate cloud-seeding. (Note that whosoever does this, does so with inherent intent to create an exploitable mob.)
Look, I understand that your intention in coming to the defense of the noble snowflake, was probably to call out the notion of unintended consequences. In itself, that is a reasonably noble instinct, which I would generally applaud. But—aside from a rather juvenile delivery—do you really not recognize the fractal irony in defending the accretion of mindless, non-adaptable, easily manufacturable participants in a societal contest over “legitimate” power?

And I not only mean the overall irony, George, I mean the personal irony. It somehow seems very odd that you would make a reference such as “in large numbers become an unstoppable avalanche that will bury you”, given your own personal and family histories. I would think that you would understand, implicitly, “the thing” about “in large numbers” as it relates to human society, which is this: the relationship between empathy and “large numbers” is strongly inverse. Are you really suggesting that the only thing that matters in a societal discussion is “large numbers”? That the little guy should just suck it up lest he be bur[ied] in an avalanche? Really?

The late Aaron Zelman had a name for that sort of cognitive disconnect: bagel brain.

Friday, January 20, 2017

One last reminder before the inauguration:

Remember that there will be purpose in these promises of destructive and even violent protest (H/T Claire) around the inauguration.  And the purpose is not about actually disrupting a party, or even embarrassing the new dictator-elect.

I would argue that it's a longer-term strategy.  The Never Trump Army has invested itself way too heavily in the marketing idea that Le Coif du Orange will always, without exception, crack any head at the slightest dissent, and peaceful protests right out of the gate would not fit that narrative.

So:  in order for Mein Trumpf to appear the proper oppressor in the opening and subsequent spotlight, he needs something to oppress.  What more obvious than cracking down on "peaceful protestors" on inauguration day?

Really, it's the same logic that reminds us (thanks Kit Perez, via Claire) that if ATF really is on the chopping block (cuz...yeah, well, maybe), we should be completely unsurprised at another Operation Showtime any time now.

Sure, maybe nothing will go wrong--so many of these people are all-hat-no-cattle in the first place--but if something does:  consider the idea that "the Brownshirts" do have to be seen being Brownshirts.

Just to record the thought...

It just occurred to me that, the way Facebook is currently designed, there may yet come a future embarrassment for these legions of Never Trump Army soldiers who have spent these tiresome weeks since the election in perpetual aaaa-go-neeee, bent over their carefully staged and shamelessly public fainting couches:

Facebook "memories".  In which whatever you posted X number of years ago on this day, shows up again on your feed.

Oh, I've no doubt that many of them will rationalize away their own hyperventilations the first time or two, and at least a few will still wear 'em like a tournament badge...  No, here, I'm simply thinking about the promised relentlessness of it:  just among those people I have seen--not including the ones I've simply unfollowed--there will be a fair percentage who are going to get one of these reminders-of-the-froth-and-spittle every day for nearly two months.

If there is any sort of supreme benevolence up there, then there may be at least a few bozos out on the TwitFace who are ultimately confronted not with counterargument or disapproval, but simply the extended evidence of their own sanctimonious petulance:  "Jeez, did I really post about nothing else between November and January?"  "Yes, dear, that's right;  maybe you don't remember it, but the rest of the neighborhood sure does."

I know, it's a dream.  (But a good one, right?)  I'm sure that before that happens Facebook will dutifully change its algorithms so that special snowflakes won't be unduly embarrassed by reminders of all that stupid shit they said.

Being broke sucks: not a proper bleg, just a brief grownup whining.

Although officially employed now, a superior state of being in so many ways to the last two years, I'm still a long way from being anything better than financially broke, and the family is still bleeding it faster than I can make it.  (The bleed rate is just a lot slower now.)

One of the greatest frustrations of that greater mess is that my curtailment of shooting activities has been nearly absolute:  hell, even my basic airgunnery is sharply limited by funds.  I try to take some solace in the memory that my own father had a long, unwanted gunnery hiatus of his own, and between that and the knowledge that this-too-shall-pass, I've been able to keep an only mildly irritable peace with my present reality.

But then the damn SHOT show comes around and torques me around.

This makes little sense, really.  SHOT is about the industry and marketing, and anyone who knows my personality and preferences will recognize pretty readily that I am completely uninterested in most of what everyone else comes back crooning about.  Even the few exceptions that do pique my interest, I nearly always see either as the basis of a refinement project, or I see the niche in some completely different way than everyone else does.

It's not that, anyway.  Really it's the "because-I-can-ness" of it all.  Somehow, to me, another SHOT means people are still at it;  I may roll eyes at what I'd call silliness, but still, I must, and do, admire them there doing it.  

"Because-I-can", when you can't, is wistful and frustrating.  It takes all the fun out of having a laugh at what you could do, but choose not to.

Poo.  I miss it.

Okay, whine over.  Drink water, carry on.  (And, truly, it is just whining.  Despite all the struggling, we are having a great time with the younglets these days, and I am fully aware of how lucky I am to have that. :-)